Fishing & Boating News

Paddling Strokes - Early Spring, 2015

by: Michael Banks, DDS,

Purtis Creek - 13.6 pound Bass caught by Michael Banks
Photo by courtesy TPWD
Sand Bass caught on the Sabine River
Photo by Michael Banks, DDS
(Mar 10, 2015 - Jacksonville, TX) Folks and Friends,
This weather is messing up my fishing.  To hook up with the spawning Sand (White) Bass, the river and creek flows have to be a certain height, volume and temperature.  The recent snow, sleet and rain have kept the sand bass from stacking up on these drainages and the temperature has kept me out of my kayak on these waters.

From my kayak I did fish Kickapoo Creek on January 30, catching one Sand Bass and one Largemouth.  This was way early; I was impatient, jumping the gun, but I had to go.  The Kickapoo has more grass growing than usual.
I also kayak fished the Sabine River on February 9, catching 15 and keeping nine.  Then again on February 20, I fished the Sabine catching 4 with three hook ups on consecutive casts.  The Sabine is very temperamental about the flow, height and temperature but when it is right, it is very good.
I caught my fish of a lifetime, ShareLunker Bass #485, weighing 13.6 pounds, on March 9, 2010, on Purtis Creek State Park Lake. I try to go fish Purtis around that date each year.

This week I plan to fish with guide Richie White on Lake Fork.

The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Launch Event for the new TPWD Cherokee Neches Paddling Trail on Saturday, March 21.  We will have a short ceremony at 11 am ending with my assignment to do the ribbon cutting from my kayak on the Neches River, initiating the Paddling Trail.

Now the Neches is way out of its banks.  We will have to see how it goes down for the paddle on the 21st.  We will have the Launch Event, rain or shine, or even if the Neches is overflowing.

You are invited to come join us for this Launch Event located at the put-in for the Cherokee Neches Trail at Neches River Run Park, 2001 CR 3315, Jacksonville, Texas, 75766 (903-724-4100,  We will have a hamburger lunch with donations accepted for the Friends of the Neches River.  You then may have the opportunity to paddle this 8 mile trail.  If you need to rent canoes, River Run Park has them for rental, just call them to make a reservation.  If you have questions, you may call me or email me or call the Jacksonville Chamber at 903-586-2217.

I have an exciting paddling trip scheduled for early April – a three day, camping paddle, fishing for smallmouth bass on the Devil’s River.  Check out information on this paddle at .  I’m sure this trip will produce stories and photos.

Here’s hoping the weather will soon allow us to get on the water with the opportunity to feel the tug.
Until we put in again,